Skip to main content

Poussin's virtual reality

Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00 | Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays: 12:00 - 17:00 | Box office closed Mondays
Closed 24th December to 27th December 2021 and 31st December 2021 to 1st January 2022 inclusive closed Gallery closures and collection updates

This exhibition is now in our archive.

The great French artist Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) was meticulous in the preparation of his paintings. This was known to have involved the use of a device his contemporaries referred to as a ‘great machine’, a miniature stage set using small wax figurines which allowed him to ‘rehearse’ the perspectival setting and fall of light and shade in an imagined space.

Following contemporary descriptions, artist Andrew Lacey, in collaboration with artist Siân Lewis and cabinet maker Robin Williams, has carefully recreated a replica of Poussin’s ‘machine’ based on the composition of Poussin’s masterpiece, 'Extreme Unction' (1638-40), acquired by the Museum in 2012. The result is a fascinating insight into the working methods of one of the world’s greatest painters. See it for yourself in Gallery 7.

Exhibition details

Associated Galleries

Similar exhibitions from our archives

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...

University of Cambridge Museums logo
Cambridge City Council logo
Arts Council England Logo
Research England logo
The Technology Partnership logo
Brewin Dolphin Logo